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    A handout by Nord Stream 2 claims to show the first pipes for the Nord Stream 2 project at a plant of OMK, which is one of the three pipe suppliers selected by Nord Stream 2 AG, in Vyksa, Russia, in this undated photo provided to Reuters on March 23, 2017

    Washington's 'Unfair Competition' Unlikely to Derail Nord Stream 2 Project

    © REUTERS/ Nord Stream 2
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    The plan to push Russia out of Europe’s gas market is unrealistic, because many European countries are interested in energy cooperation with Moscow, including, first of all, the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 projects, an expert told Radio Sputnik.

    "Washington is making no secret of the fact that its new sanctions, including against Nord Stream 2, are aimed at promoting American-made liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the European market. They want gas prices go up in Europe in order to make their LNG supplies profitable. In fact, what we’re talking about is unfair competition," Igor Yushkov, senior analyst with the National Energy Security Fund, pointed out.

    In early August, US President Donald Trump signed into law a new batch of sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. In particular, the law restricts dealings with Russian banks and energy companies. Moreover, the US continues to oppose the implementation of Nord Stream 2, citing its alleged adverse impact on the energy security of the EU.

    Politics has been an important aspect in discussions over the new gas pipeline, but, according to the expert, there are a number of European countries for which the economic component prevails.

    "Those countries regard Nord Stream 2 as a source of reliable gas supplies and an instrument to make prices go down. For example, Berlin has been in direct talks with [Russian gas-producing company] Gazprom. This is why Brussels is unlikely to suspend the initiative," Yushkov suggested.

    Commenting further on Washington’s opposition towards Nord Stream 2, the expert said that the projects would be implemented if there were no radical moves by the US. At the same time, he suggested, European countries will stand against external pressure.

    "Washington has already made such attempts, including its proposal to automatically extend sanctions against Nord Stream 2. However, European countries opposed it and the sanctions bill was amended. As a result, opponents will not be able to block the project," Yushkov concluded.

    Earlier this week, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the US wants to "bury" Nord Stream 2 through sanctions and clear the market for its own supplies. He added that the pipeline project was commercial and should not be politicized.

    Nord Stream 2 presumes the construction of two gas pipelines with a combined annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas. The new pipeline is planned to be laid along the Nord Stream pipeline route from the Russian coast through the Baltic Sea to a hub in Germany. The pipeline is scheduled to become fully operational in 2019. Shell, Engie, OMV, Uniper and Wintershall are Gazprom's partners on the project.

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    Tags:
    natural gas supplies, sanctions, Nord Stream 2, European Union, Russia, United States
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